Keep Your Pick 'n' Pull Salvage Trip Efficient

Salvage yards are an affordable way to find used car parts on your own. Instead of buying a brand-new part that hasn't been worn in yet—or a used part refurbished as new with an unfair price—you could find your own parts at a sometimes-lower price point. You'll need to have technical ability and the knowledge to pinpoint the parts needed, but you'll also need to know your way around a salvage yard. Take the time to understand the pick n' pull business model and what to do before you go.

What Is a Pick 'n' Pull?

A pick and pull—often stylized as "pick 'n' pull"—is a type of salvage yard that documents vehicles and sometimes individual parts for the sake of selling the contents to the public at large. Many salvage yards make their revenue as injection points for waste management and the recycling industry, but pick n' pull yards tend to keep their stock on hand for long periods of time.

To utilize a pick 'n' pull, you need to have more than just a part in mind. Many self-sufficient fixers may call in looking for a specific part for a specific make, model, and year. It's important to know that many different manufacturers share the same parts in some cases. The opposite is also true, since a different year or even a corrected build in the same year may have a different part.

Before contacting the pick and pull, research the part and your vehicle. Get a list of different vehicles that could be using the same part and ask the pick 'n' pull staff about that list of cars. It'll give you a bigger spread of vehicles to pull from. This is especially helpful, since there's no guarantee that any one part will be working when you get it.

You may have to go through a lot of vehicles to get the part you want, or you may get lucky with the first vehicle. Don't take chances; make sure you're prepared for a few hours of searching and studying in case the part isn't available.

Pick 'n' Pull Preparation

Tools are a necessity for removing vehicle parts, but you may not have much success grabbing a standard set of screwdrivers and wrenches. Some vehicles use different types of screws, bolts, and fasteners that may require tool sizes just slightly different from what you have, whether it's too big or too small. There may even be some specialty screws that you don't have tools for, or—in the worst case scenario—a proprietary device that requires a tool held only by the manufacturer and enterprising mechanics.

Look up the tools required to remove the part of choice. You can search different maintenance manuals for your vehicle, or find an online video that details the removal and what may be needed. If all else fails, contact the manufacturer or an auto repair shop specializing in the vehicle.

Many Pick N' Pull services can remove the part for a fee if you'd prefer, which can be helpful with proprietary parts and connectors. This is especially helpful with heavy-duty jobs such as engine removal. Contact an auto salvage yard like Teddy Bears Auto Parts & Salvage Inc manager to discuss the parts needed and the services available.